3 May 2016

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Title: A Farewell to Arms
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Pages: 293
Genre: Classic, Historical, Romance
Book Description:
In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the war to end all wars. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded, and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer, and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it, Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.

My Opinion:
I've never read any of Hemingway's novels but since he's so well regarded in the literary world I felt like I should give this one a try as the historical topic fascinates me. However, upon finishing this, I was a little disappointed.

I felt like the story line lacked something. It began with an intriguing start as the romance subtly expanded and the protagonist left for war but soon after that it died out. The spark was gone and I felt myself struggling to continue, yet I persevered and I'm glad I did (to some extent). The pace picked up again around 2/3s of the way through as the couple embarked on a new journey and escape from the war.
The ending was surprisingly good for such a slow novel. Despite it's sadness, I finally felt like I received the emotion and tone I had been expecting throughout.

While I'm not a huge lover of romance in novels, I did find this one enjoyable. I felt like Catherine and Tenente were a good match and I liked the way they were head over heels in love with each other. They have a powerful relationship and I think that's why the ending hits so hard.

Overall I found the topic of war really interesting to read about because we not only get a clear sense of what it's like fighting, but also how it feels for the ones left behind and what it's like to return home to your loved ones. In my opinion, Hemingway's writing style wasn't captivating or unique, causing a novel with so much potential to be disappointing. I don't think I'll be reading any other books by this author which is a shame as I did hope to enjoy it.

Favourite Quotes:

That is why the peasant has wisdom, because he is defeated from the start.


The killing came suddenly and unreasonably


I’m not brave any more darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me


'And you'll always love me won't you?'
'And the rain won't make any difference?'


There isnt always an explanation for everything.

Rating ★
2 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
Atonement by Ian McEwan